Getting To Know God
Jehovah Jireh - The Seed Of Gracious Provision
The LORD Who Provides - The Promised SEED - The Grace Of God - The Intercession Of God
The Promise Planted
God’s identity as Provider is often a misunderstood concept. He’s the provider of our physical needs, but never at the expense of our spiritual need. This means that God’s provision is often hard to understand. When God promised to deal with the devil and the effects of his work, God said He would do so through the Seed of a woman, referring to Jesus. Jesus’ work as the Messiah would function like a seed. He would come as a human, but like a seed, be stripped bare and put into the ground dead. Yet, in time, as seeds do, would sprout with life, and that life would provide fruit for nourishment. As a seed must die to produce fruit and nourishment, Jesus had to die, taking a “wound to the heel” from the devil. This is God’s backwards way of working. He promised to provide spiritual nourishment by means of His own physical death. When thinking about this concept, we realized that the process of making guacamole works the same way. The value of guacamole requires a pretty brutal process from the perspective of the avocado. The avocado has to be cut, stripped, and beaten into mush before it can become the delicious and nutritious snack so many people love. All of this work starts with the planting of the seed.
Provision Poured Out
It’s often said that God “poured out” His love for us. The prophecy of Isaiah 53:12 uses that same phrasing, but in a pretty graphic way. The pouring out of God’s love required the promised “Seed” to ensure death in such a way that was horrific beyond measure. The “pouring out” of God’s love was determined and excessive. This image was actually shot before we put this devotional together. It’s actually a picture of a teenage girl playing around in the tunnel behind a waterfall at a theme park. We happened to be at the right place at the right time to snap this photo. We think that it’s a pretty good illustration of what our response should be to the outpouring of God’s love. The girl pictured here is bowing her head with her hands raised in submission to the downpour of water over her. She’s standing in darkness, but if she moves in that posture towards the water, she’d be wet, but be in the light. Likewise, if we submit to the outpouring of God’s love, made manifest through the downpour of blood that was shed on our behalf, we too can escape darkness, being cleansed while we’re brought into the light.
The SEED Sprouts!
The incarnation of the Son of God marked the beginning of the most important phase of God’s work concerning sin. He became flesh to die for sin. The Seed of the woman couldn’t be bruised on the heel in order to smash the head of the serpent unless the Seed was born from a woman. So, when Jesus was born, it was as if the Seed sprouted life! Thinking about this concept, we remembered the old elementary school project where we put the lima bean seed in the plastic bag, and taped it to the window to watch it grow. So, we combined our photography needs with some science curriculum for our kids homeschool studies, and viola`! When the seed began to sprout, we took it out of the bag, put it in some dirt and photographed it while watering it lightly. The vibrant green sprout from the seed is a beautiful picture illustrating the vibrancy of life that came from the womb of Mary.
Paul was pretty candid to explain that “the Seed” mentioned in Genesis 3:15, later personified as the descendant of Abraham, was in fact, none other than Jesus Christ. The context of Paul’s explanation showed that Jesus’ identity as the Messiah provides a variety of benefits to those who believe. Jesus compared faith to eating, saying in John Chapter 6 that His flesh is the bread of life. We are to “eat Him” in faith, meaning that we are to consume the testimony of His essence in order to assimilate His nature into our souls. Jesus also compared the faith of His people to that of a mustard seed in Luke Chapter 17. The photo shows these two concepts combined to illustrate the multi-faceted benefits of Jesus as “the Seed” that Paul talked about in Galatians 3:16. In order to get the benefits of mustard as a spread, and eat of its goodness, the seed must be crushed, just like Genesis 3:15 stated. We wanted to use an image that had to do with food since this month’s concepts deal with God as Jehovah Jireh – the LORD Who Provides. So, our photo shows a single mustard seed, ground mustard behind it, and mustard spread behind the powder. In order to eat and consume the nourishment of the mustard seed, it has to be crushed. In order to consume Jesus and get the various benefits of His spiritual nourishment, He also had to be crushed as the Seed.
Buried By The Seed
There are a lot of benefits that come from the work of Jesus, but He came into this world to provide those benefits by accomplishing one task – destroying the work of the devil as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. God took the form of flesh specifically to destroy the work of the devil, referring to the spiritual consequences of sin. The only way that this work could be dealt with was through death since “the wages of sin is death.” This is why God alone is qualified to deal with the devil in an effective way. He’s the only One that is able to overcome death, as seen by Jesus’ resurrection. So, to show the fulfillment of Jesus’ work as “the Seed of the woman,” we photographed “the serpent” being drown and buried by various seeds. This pile and downpour of seeds consisted of sesame seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds – some of the most nourishing seeds on the planet. We felt this was fitting illustration as the serpent is pounded in the head by the falling seeds until it is totally buried and consumed. No real serpents were harmed in the production of this photo. ;)